Virginia Williams' Guide to Memphis

Get a personal tour of Memphis with its native daughter and rising star Virginia Williams.

Take it from a native—Memphis has good food, good music, and good people. Learn about actress Virginia Williams' favorite spots and things to do in her hometown.

Virginia's Perfect Day in Memphis
“If you’ve never been to Memphis, there are a few spots you’ve got to hit on your first visit. Get breakfast at Brother Juniper’s for great downhome Southern cookin’ (buttery biscuits and eggs done every way you can imagine). Then walk through Tom Lee Park along the river bluff. Immerse yourself in local history at the National Civil Rights Museum, then grab some ribs at Charlie Vergos Rendezvous—it’s a cliché for a reason. Hit Grace­land for the requisite Elvis pilgrimage, then follow the music from club to club on Beale Street.”

Can't-Miss Memphis Experience
The Orpheum. This gorgeous, old-school theater with brocade draperies, crystal chandeliers, and a pipe organ does a summer movie series that’s spectacular. It’s where I first saw Gone with the Wind.”

Best View of Memphis
“The rooftop of the Madison Hotel. Get a drink at Grill 83’s bar and take it to the hotel’s rooftop terrace for amazing sunset views over the Mississippi River.”

Can't Leave Memphis Without Eating...
“...the jalapeño pimiento cheese at Holiday Deli & Ham. It’s super creamy, with just the right spice. My parents keep it stocked in the house whenever I come home. I take a few extra bins back to LA for cocktail parties—served on crustless Wonder bread, of course.”

Beale Street: Best Place for Memphis Blues
“Elmo & the Shades is a great bluesy rock band that always gets the dance party started. (They played at my wedding!) It’s a good bet you’ll catch them at the Rum Boogie Café on Beale Street most weekend nights.”

Best Memphis Souvenir
“I give Sun Studio T-shirts as presents to friends back in Los Angeles. I mean, Memphis is where rock ’n’ roll was born. Those shirts are instant classics.”

Hooping It Up
“Memphis really gets behind the Memphis Tigers' basketball team. The fans are fierce. Larry Finch, one of the city’s most beloved players and coaches, lived across the street from my parents, and players like David Vaughn and Penny Hardaway would come over and shoot hoops in my driveway. To this day, I love, love, love going to the games."